With the busy schedule that so many triathletes have, efficient training is key to a successful training and racing season. Are you effective with your time?
T1Triathlon asked High Performance Team member, Yume Kobayashi: How do you make time in your busy schedule for training? This is Yume's response:
Ninety percent of the time, shift-work and training don't mesh. Its hard switching between days, evenings and nights; always being tired because your body is constantly adapting to different sleep times. Its hard to keep a good diet because sometimes you are sleeping during the day and have your main meal at 4 am in the morning. And sometimes shift work makes you a lone warrior, because when people meet up for group rides or runs, say at 6 pm on a Wednesday or 9am on a Saturday, you are a work. So yeah, a lot of the time shift work makes training a little more challenging.
However, (and I have to mention that I am lucky to be doing 8 hour shifts. I did 12's for more than a year and trying to train on that schedule is VERY demanding), there are some upsides.
- Quiet roads: If you like doing your own thing and don't mind hours spent in your own head (if you are racing any long distances, likely you will need to get used to this) a weekday morning is a great time for a long bike ride. The roads are pretty quiet because everyone else is at work and there won't be many other riders out, again, because almost everyone else is at work.
Lane swimming with retirees: we are lucky to have a pool that is open 7 days a week. There is lane swimming for at least one hour each day, and usually multiple different times for lane swimming on weekdays. My favourite time to do any kind of workout in a public lane swim is weekdays at noon. Why? Again, everyone else is at work; its me and the retirees (pretty much the only other people who are free to go lane swimming in the middle of the day on a weekday) and I can pretty much guarantee that they let me have a lane to myself. No having to pass anyone, no waiting at the walls and missing pace times. Pretty awesome.
Whatever schedule you may have, you can make it work. Whether its sneaking in a lunchtime run/swim during the week, doing intervals while your kid has hockey practice, or sneaking in some workouts here and there between back-to-back night shifts, if you want it, you make it work. The main thing I try and remind myself, is quality of quantity. More hours spent training is not necessarily better – that way I don't beat myself up for not being able to squeeze everything in; and be organized but flexible. A busy schedule really requires ahead of time planning. Look at your week and the things that are not going to change ie. Work, or kids, and plan around that. Be aware that things might arise that make you change or even miss a training session and be kind to yourself - don't beat yourself up. I'm not good with this, but do as I say, not as I do.